Andre Villas-Boas would be 'extremely surprised' if Gareth Bale leaves Tottenham

The Spurs manager claims to have had assurances that the forward will not be sold

Andre Villas-Boas says he has been assured that Gareth Bale will stay with Tottenham this summer - even if the club do not qualify for the Champions League.

Bale is enjoying the best season of his career and his stock rose even further today when he was named Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association.

The news, which came four days after he did the double at the Professional Footballers' Association awards, mean he is the only player other than Cristiano Ronaldo to win the FWA Footballer of the Year, the PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year prizes in the same season.

Last week Villas-Boas, whose team currently sit in fifth despite Bale's 19-goal haul in the Barclays Premier League, sparked fears that the Tottenham forward could leave the club this summer if the team do not make the top four.

But today the Spurs manager claimed his comments had been misunderstood. The Portuguese insists that the 23-year-old Welshman will remain at White Hart Lane this summer even if the team fail to qualify for the competition which Bale admitted on Sunday night that he misses playing in so much.

"The information that I have from the club, which was mistakenly written about last week, is that the player is here to remain, independent of the objectives of Champions League qualification being achieved or not," Villas-Boas told a press conference.

"I would be extremely surprised (if he left).

"In football anything can happen. It's impossible to predict, but this is the assurance I have had from the club.

"We understand that the more awards the more recognition the player will have, the more media attention, but the club has to move forward by holding onto its best players.

"With the recognition and the further experience that he has had from this year, next year for Tottenham he will be even more assertive."

PA

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